Monday, March 6, 2017

UConn wrecking machine rolls on

The good news for South Florida was they outscored the UConn girls 11-7 in the fourth quarter.

The bad news was -- they were already trailing by sixty points. SIXTY!!

Idle thought: Why does South Florida insist on calling a ladies' team the "Bulls"? How much since does that make? "Lady Bulls" would be even more oxymoronic. Then again, as the bovine family goes, perhaps it's better than "Cows". That probably wouldn't work out so well. The udder ridiculousness of it all. Sorry. Ahem.

South Florida isn't a bad team in the whole scheme of things. They're within the Top 25 in the entire country. Lots of other schools likely wish they could lay claim to that. But they've just got to hate it when UConn pops up on their schedule, being in the same conference and all.

In the first game this season UConn put a gawd-awful 102-37 beatdown on them. Sixty five points worth. In the rematch at USF, the Bulls only lost by a relatively mere 28 points -- 96-68. Still, when you get clobbered in your own building by that amount, it has to be discouraging.

On to the conference tournament for Game 3, mentioned at the top of this article. A 100-44 thrashing. Chalk up another 56 point differential. And it likely could have been a lot worse if UConn hadn't yanked most of their starters after the third quarter.

At that time, the Bulls found themselves on the horns of a dilemma. Oops, there went another stupid pun. Sorry. Do you leave your own already gassed starters in to try and made the final outcome a little more respectable against the other team's second unit? (Which, BTW, might be better than anything you have anyway). Or do you send in your own scrubs and watch the score become even more preposterous?

At any rate, the two teams have played three times this year and adding up the cumulative scores results in 298-149. A 149 point difference, or pretty close to fifty points a game. That's a bunch, to say the least.

If it all seems unfair, perhaps it is in a sense, given the obvious disparity in talent and, yes, coaching we've witnessed between the two of them. But that's a tough argument to make for a few reasons. Like any other college, both UConn and USF recruit from the same prep talent pool, both nationally and abroad. Both can only put five players on the floor at any one time. And so far, no "Caitlyn" types have been allowed in women's college hoops. X chromosomes only, thank you very much, but who knows when that might change? After that, it gets pretty simple. Whoever scores the most points -- wins. Some just appear to be light years better at it than others.

The larger question is thus -- Is there anybody out there that can possibly knock off the UConn express when the NCAA tourney rolls around shortly? If they stay healthy and play up to their capabilities, the answer is likely a resounding NO.

But one never knows. Even though UConn will be prohibitive favorites to march on to a fifth consecutive national title and remain on the longest winning streak of any team ever in ANY sport -- it has to end sometime -- right?

Could somebody like Notre Dame, Maryland, Stanford, or Baylor ambush them in the tournament? Possibly. How about Florida State? In the first game this season, they only lost to the Lady Huskies by a mere 2 points before the express got rolling. The Seminoles KNOW they can play with them. Question is -- could they get over the formidable hump and actually BEAT them if they get a crack at them in the tourney? Hard to say.

One thing for sure. Given the 11 national championships that Geno Auriemma and his teams have already racked up, including the last four in a row and the current winning streak they're on, and the absolute hammerings they put on so many otherwise good teams, it would also be difficult to argue this isn't the greatest dynasty the world of sports has ever seen. Let's get real. If this was a boys team, the talking heads and other media would have gone berserk blathering on about them long ago, and would be ranting to this day. But it's "only" the girls, so they continue to mostly fly under the radar. It's not right. Where's true equality when you need it?

Yet here's the thing. Even when they eventually lose, it will happen someday, if not this year, the five star blue-chip preps will continue to stand in line for the PRIVILEGE of playing for Geno and UConn in the foreseeable future. The old adage is absolutely true. Success breeds even more success.

And this beat is likely to keep going on for the foreseeable future.

Or at least until Auriemma decides to hang it up and retire. And he hasn't shown any signs of slowing down any time soon.

It really is something to behold.and never say "never", because this sort of thing wasn't supposed to happen in first place, given the "parity" the rule-makers continue to strive for.

But there's also a good chance we'll never see anything quite like it again.

So love them or hate them, they definitely deserve to be appreciated for what they've already accomplished and may well do much more of in the near future, if not longer.

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